Mice May Contaminate Our Environment More Than Rats

According to a recent study released by the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City mice not only carry diseases like E.coli and Salmonella, they also carry life-threatening bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

After studying the droppings of 416 mice collected from throughout the five boroughs researchers found that the waste also contained C.difficile and Shigella. C.difficille, which is normally found in health care facilities, could be spread by a population of mice leading to serious infections in humans. 

Research scientist Simon Williams said, "Our study raises the possibility that serious infections may be passed from mice to humans, although further research is needed to understand how often this happens, if at all."

In the second series of tests, researchers found that the mouse droppings contained 36 viruses, some of which are shared with dogs, chickens and pigs. None of the viruses have shown the capability to be transferred from mice to human beings.

The article on the study of the mice, which appears in the New York Post, quotes the senior author of the two studies Ian Lipkin. 

"New Yorkers tend to focus on rats because they are larger and we see them scurrying around in the streets or in the subways; however, from the public health vantage point, mice are more worrisome because they live indoors and more likely to contaminate our environment," Lipkin said.

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